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Prog Brain Res. 2008;171:21-8. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(08)00604-3.

Functional anatomy of the extraocular muscles during vergence.

Author information

1
Jules Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen Medical School at University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. jld@ucla.edu

Abstract

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) now enables precise visualisation of the mechanical state of the living human orbit, enabling inferences about the effects of mechanical factors on ocular kinematics. We used 3-dimensional (3D) magnetic search coil recordings and MRI to investigate the mechanical state of the orbit during vergence in humans. Horizontal convergence of 23 degrees from a remote to a near target aligned on one eye was geometrically ideal, and was associated with lens thickening and extorsion of the rectus pulley array of the aligned eye with superior oblique muscle relaxation and inferior oblique muscle contraction. There was no rectus muscle co-contraction. Subjective fusion through a 1 degree vertical prism caused a clockwise (CW) torsion in both eyes, as well as variable vertical and horizontal vergences that seldom corresponded to prism amount or direction. MRI under these conditions did not show consistent torsion of the rectus pulley array, but a complex pattern of changes in rectus extraocular muscle (EOM) crossections, consistent with co-contraction. Binocular fusion during vergence is accomplished by complex, 3D eye rotations seldom achieving binocular retinal correspondence. Vergence eye movements are sometimes associated with changes in rectus EOM pulling directions, and may sometimes be associated with co-contraction. Thus, extraretinal information about eye position would appear necessary to interpret binocular correspondence, and to avoid diplopia.

PMID:
18718278
PMCID:
PMC2881303
DOI:
10.1016/S0079-6123(08)00604-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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